BMW:BMW Motorsport simulator accelerates development and set-up work for drivers and engineers.
Munich. Perfect preparation has a major influence on teams’
chances of success in highly professional race series such as the
ABB FIA Formula E Championship or the DTM. For BMW Motorsport, the
modern simulator in Munich (GER) plays a key role.
It not only helps the drivers get to know a new track or to fine tune
the racing line. The sim also enables precise optimisations to the car
set-up and supports the development of new race cars. The BMW
Motorsport engineers work closely together with their colleagues from
BMW production pre-development in this area.
The BMW works drivers and engineers lay the foundation for success in
races way before heading to the racetrack – namely in a simple hall at
BMW Motorsport on Anton-Ditt-Bogen in Munich. This is the home of the
BMW Motorsport simulator, one of the most important tools for the
best-possible race preparation. ’Experiencing’ new tracks or drivers
making their first acquaintance with the BMW M4 DTM or BMW iFE.20 are
as much a part of day-to-day business as devising the perfect chassis
tuning and energy management.
“The BMW Motorsport simulator is a very important and useful tool for
us in training the drivers, preparing our race appearances in terms of
car set-up and energy management, and last but not least, also in car
development,” said Rudolf Dittrich, General Manager BMW Motorsport
Vehicle Development. “The unique configuration of the hardware,
continuous detailing of the software and modelling, the very close
correlation with real data and the high computer performance make even
the smallest changes in vehicle set-up or the development of new cars
noticeable and comparable. The compatibility with other BMW Group
simulators brings about many synergies and a continuous transfer of
technology and knowledge between motorsport and production development.”
Globally unique simulator configuration.
At the core of the BMW Motorsport simulator is a detailed car model.
Its basis is identical for all BMW simulators in development. The
feedback relevant to the driver is determined from the model for a
globally unique configuration with linear actuators and a turntable,
and transmitted with high precision and minimum delay. For this, the
system relies on processing power of 100 teraflops. This means that
100 billion calculations are possible every second. Three projectors
display the racetrack for drivers in the simulator. Great value is
placed on a high quality of immersion into the virtual world. If the
immersion is not good enough, driving in the simulator can trigger
headaches and nausea similar to motion sickness. This has not been the
case for racing drivers to date. The necessary foundations in this
area are undergoing scientific research in several research projects
in parallel. The findings are also available to other areas within the
BMW Group, which, for example, are involved in the development of
Currently, the BMW Motorsport simulator can visualise the BMW M4 DTM
and the BMW iFE.20. It is possible to switch between these two cars
within the space of an hour. The following track configurations are
available: Nürburgring (GER) including the Nordschleife,
Hockenheimring (GER), Norisring (GER), Lausitzring (GER), Assen (NED),
Jerez de la Frontera (ESP), Brands Hatch (GBR) and the future DTM
venues Anderstorp (SWE) and Monza (ITA). Also available are all the
tracks from the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons of the ABB FIA Formula E
Championship, and the BMW test site in Miramas (FRA) modelled in
collaboration with production colleagues. Changes to existing tracks
or the implementation of new venues can be realised in less than a
week, as required. A total of 19 racing drivers have already taken the
wheel of the simulator; in addition to BMW works drivers from the DTM
and the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in 2019 and 2020, this also
includes new drivers ahead of their rookie tests.
Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG,
Development, has also taken to the virtual test track in the BMW
Maximum precision, maximum efficiency.
The high-level precision makes it possible to make even the smallest
changes to the chassis tuning noticeable in the cockpit. This means
that various chassis options can be tested before setting off for the
racetrack. In addition, in Formula E it is possible to enter data in
the vehicle control unit for optimum energy management at an early
stage. In vehicle development, the great attention to detail allows
comparative analyses on different circuits without great financial
expense, the results of which would be very difficult to realise at
the real racetrack.
Last but not least, the simulator allows engineers as well as the
driver to prepare for a race appearance. Up to 15 engineers are
connected directly via an intercom and data server during a simulator
session. This enables reactions and processes in extraordinary
situations to be practised, for example.
BMW Motorsport is developing the simulator continuously in parallel
to ongoing use, in addition to the hardware, primarily in the areas of
software and modelling. Experience from other BMW Group simulators is
Note to editors: New TV footage of the BMW Motorsport
simulator, including statements from BMW works driver Maximilian
Günther and Rudolf Dittrich, Head of BMW Motorsport Vehicle
Development, is attached to this article.
Sim racing live streams this weekend:
DNLS powered by VCO (Sat., 13:00hrs CEST):
ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge, Round 2 (Sat., 16:30hrs CEST):